WASHINGTON: The United States on Tuesday put a confidant of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, on its terror blacklist.
“ISIS is down but not out,” Nathan Sales, the State Department’s point man on counterterrorism, said in announcing that Haji Abdel Nasir had been named a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist.”
“As ISIS continues to lose ground on the battlefield, we must starve it of the resources it uses to commit terrorism around the world,” Sales said in a statement.
The State Department said the decision was made in conjunction with the UN Security Council, which on Monday put Abdel Nasir on its own sanctions list.
The twin listings mean that Abdel Nasir is subject to an international asset freeze, travel ban and arms embargo. US citizens and entities are prohibited from doing business with him.
Nasir “has held several leadership positions in the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria,” including heading the group’s “Delegated Committee,” which reports to Baghdadi and “exercises administrative control of the terrorist organisation’s affairs,” the State Department said.
It said the committee Abdel Nasir chaired was “responsible for planning and issuing orders related to ISIS’s military operations, tax collections, religious police, and commercial and security operations.”
The United States heads a military coalition striving to drive the Islamic State out of Iraq and Syria, from where the terrorist group has launched numerous attacks abroad, mostly in Europe, in recent years.